UFC 281: Adesanya vs. Pereira main card staff predictions

Will Israel Adesanya successfully defend his UFC middleweight title once again? Can Weili Zhang reclaim her UFC strawweight title? The predictions from the MMA Empire team, along with our guest picker, can be found below for the five-fight main card.

Our guest picker for this event is Canadian middleweight prospect Tom Theocharis (6-4). With two first round knockouts, Theocharis is having himself a perfect 2022. He will look to add to the win streak on Dec. 3.

2022 standings thru UFC Fight Night 214

1. Jason Hagholm (122-72) N/A in 2021

T2. Cole Shelton (121-73) 138-83-3 in 2021 *Champion

T2. Joel Griffith (121-73) 135-86-3 in 2021

T2. Kylan Knowler (121-73) 128-93-3 in 2021

5. Joe McDonagh (119-75) 122-99-3 in 2021

T6. Cody Rempel (117-77) 134-87-3 in 2021

T6. Cooper Riehl (117-77) 136-85-3 in 2021

8. Dylan Bowker (112-82) 113-108-3 in 2021

9. Guest picker (105-89) 115-106-3 in 2021

Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira

Jason Hagholm: Israel Adesanya via decision.

Cole Shelton: Israel Adesanya via TKO.

Joel Griffith: Israel Adesanya via decision.

Kylan Knowler: Alex Pereira via knockout.

Joe McDonagh: Israel Adesanya via decision.

Cody Rempel: Israel Adesanya via decision.

Cooper Riehl: Israel Adesanya via decision.

Dylan Bowker: Israel Adesanya via decision.

Tom Theocharis: Israel Adesanya via decision.

Picks – Israel Adesanya: 8, Alex Pereira: 1

Carla Esparza vs. Weili Zhang

Jason Hagholm: Carla Esparza via decision.

Cole Shelton: Weili Zhang via TKO.

Joel Griffith: Weili Zhang via decision.

Kylan Knowler: Weili Zhang via TKO.

Joe McDonagh: Weili Zhang via decision.

Cody Rempel: Weili Zhang via TKO.

Cooper Riehl: Weili Zhang via TKO.

Dylan Bowker: Weili Zhang via TKO.

Tom Theocharis: Weili Zhang via knockout.

Picks – Carla Esparza: 1, Weili Zhang: 8

Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler

Jason Hagholm: Dustin Poirier via decision.

Cole Shelton: Dustin Poirier via TKO.

Joel Griffith: Michael Chandler via TKO.

Kylan Knowler: Dustin Poirier via TKO.

Joe McDonagh: Dustin Poirier via knockout.

Cody Rempel: Dustin Poirier via decision.

Cooper Riehl: Dustin Poirier via TKO.

Dylan Bowker: Michael Chandler via TKO.

Tom Theocharis: Michael Chandler via knockout.

Picks – Dustin Poirier: 6, Michael Chandler: 3

Frankie Edgar vs. Chris Gutierrez

Jason Hagholm: Chris Gutierrez via TKO.

Cole Shelton: Frankie Edgar via decision.

Joel Griffith: Chris Gutierrez via decision.

Kylan Knowler: Chris Gutierrez via TKO.

Joe McDonagh: Frankie Edgar via decision.

Cody Rempel: Chris Gutierrez via TKO.

Cooper Riehl: Frankie Edgar via decision.

Dylan Bowker: Frankie Edgar via decision.

Tom Theocharis: Frankie Edgar via decision.

Picks – Frankie Edgar: 5, Chris Gutierrez: 4

Dan Hooker vs. Claudio Puelles

Jason Hagholm: Claudio Puelles via submission.

Cole Shelton: Dan Hooker via decision.

Joel Griffith: Dan Hooker via TKO.

Kylan Knowler: Dan Hooker via decision.

Joe McDonagh: Dan Hooker via knockout.

Cody Rempel: Claudio Puelles via submission.

Cooper Riehl: Dan Hooker via TKO.

Dylan Bowker: Dan Hooker via decision.

Tom Theocharis: Dan Hooker via decision.

Picks – Dan Hooker: 7, Claudio Puelles: 2